Modern Urban Combat Tactics (M.U.C.T)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Know Your Targets

In reality based combatives / martial arts, ones goal is to quickly and effectively stop your attacker or attackers.  We are not trying to score points, a submission or even a knockout. We are looking to incapacitate, we want to do as much damage as necessary as quickly and effectively as possible as to escape, stop the attack, or stop the attack long enough to escape to safety.

Optimally we are looking for economical efficiency in our techniques and approach to training. The best way to achieve this is to know and understand what the most effective targets are. Targets really fall into two categories, Primary and Secondary. Within Primary targets are a sub group that I refer to as "your soft targets".

Soft Targets.... What are soft targets? Soft targets are the eyes, ears, nose, throat and groin. These are your top primary targets. These are areas that can not be strengthened and are really the only way that a 90lb woman could effectively stop a 300lb aggressor. Knowing how and when to attack these areas is key to surviving an encounter that you would otherwise loose. Even a trained, muscled up mma fighter has the same reaction to a poke in the eyes as anyone else, so these are should be where you focus your initial strikes.

Primary Targets... We have already stated that our soft targets are primary targets, but on top of those we have some "hard" primary targets as well. Let's discuss what are considered Primary targets. Primary targets are targets that need little strength to manipulate and attack successfully. These are areas that can be used to control or induce immense pain and slow, incapacitate, maim or kill an attacker. Our hard primary targets are as follows and in no particular order; the soft targets (as previously stated),the temples, hinge of the jaw, chin, clavicle notch, collar bone (clavicle), floating ribs, elbow joint, wrists, finger joints, thumbs, knees, mastoid (base of the skull where then head and neck meet) and floating rib (the bottom most rib). These are your primary targets these are areas that can do immense damage some more than others but are areas that do not require exceptional strength to damage.

Secondary targets....Lastly lets talk about secondary targets. The term secondary targets does not mean that we hit them after the primary targets, what the term refers to is the fact that they are not as choice, or as easy to do significant damage with, these targets are used to create openings to primary targets, or as a less lethal choice but often require more strength to do any significant damage and if damaged may or may not slow down an attacker. These targets really include just about anywhere you can hit, but there are some secondary targets that are better than others. Here are some of the better choices for a secondary target. The metatarsal (small bones on the top of the foot), the metacarpal (small bones on the back of the hand), the shin, outside of the thigh, the bicep, spinal cord, solar plexus, brachial plexus, the philtrum, the upper rib cage and of course the old bread basket the stomache.

Techniques need to be directed towards these targets and the techniques should be simple and straight forward remember flashy does not equal effective. Now to hunt for a specific target is not what I am advocating, what I am saying is that by knowing your targets you should not have to and will not have to hunt for a specific target when you see an opening to one of these then take it hell take what you can get, but know and understand what works better and what will be effective. Knowing your targets and how to effectively manipulate or strike them is probably the most important part of combatives / self defense. It is so important to train to attack these specific areas that way we automatically go for these targets and do not need to make a conscious decision to do so, remember we are not training for competition or mma this is combat and this is for keeps. Remember if you want to stay clean you gotta fight dirty



  1. Wow, I really like your blog. I read a few of your posts and am intrigued. I have always studied marital arts as more of a sport/activity, you bring a very gritty reality to training. I just added you to my blog list on my website so I remember to come back and check out your new articles.

    What martial arts do you study? Krav Maga?

  2. Hi, and thank you for the kind words. I have Studied many arts over the years. While I do teach similar techniques and principle as Krav Maga and have a training partner who is a krav instructor, I would say that I study American Kenpo and combatives. But I have studied wrestling, boxing, kenpo, combatives, jujitsu, judo, hopkido, shotokan karate, kobudo, kendo, kali,catch wrestling, Tae Kwon Do, combative taichi and qigong (for health). What I teach and practice is really a synthesis of these. I like to take what is useful and practical and throw the rest away. I Also have real world experience from violent encounters that I have been involved in and survived.




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